Advice for 1999: Iron stomach, high-tech stocks

The Ticker

December 25, 1998|By Julius Westheimer

HERE ARE some last-minute financial presents:

TAKE TUMS: "Although 1999 will knock down some Internet stocks, if you want to outperform the broader market -- and are blessed with an iron stomach -- high tech remains the place to be. My top picks for 1999 include America Online Inc., Microsoft Corp., Lucent Technologies Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc." (Paul Cook, Munder NetNet Fund, in Business Week, Dec. 28.)

SLEEPING PILL: Worried about another down market? "If you fear the bear market may return, look for stocks with high yields and low debt," writes John Dorfman in Bloomberg Personal Finance, January. "Stocks that pay above-average dividends and have low debt generally escape severe bear market maulings. Examples: HSB Group Inc., Kelly Services Inc., National Service Industries Inc. and PIMCO Advisors Holdings."

TOP PICKS: Some "Favorite Stocks of The Top Ten Hot Funds of 1998," in Fortune, Jan. 11: Amazon.com Inc., America Online Inc., Cadence Design Systems, Dell Computer Corp., Envoy Communications and Microsoft Corp. Note: Through Dec. 17, Amazon.com was up 830 percent this year, America Online ahead 342 percent.

ENDPAPERS: Stock and bond markets are closed today for Christmas. So you can't make any money -- or lose any.

"As we went to press near year-end 1998, an appalling 2,611 out of 2,891 diversified U.S. stock mutual funds were under-performing the S&P 500-stock index for the year." (Money, January.)

"Energy stocks look as depressed as can be; expect at least strong year-end rallies." (Yale Hirsch.)

Pub Date: 12/25/98

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